SBC Digital Summit: Staying compliant in a changing world


Staying compliant with know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations has become a top priority for all operations, as they have stepped up to own the responsibility of keeping their customers, and the public, safe while enjoying gambling. Several panels on day 4 of the SBC Digital Summit explored these topics.sbc-digital-summit-staying-compliant-in-a-changing-world

First up was “The Virus Check: Payments, Fraud and ID” panel, moderated by Joe Streeter, News Editor at, with panelists Rahul Das, Head of Payments at VirginBet, Steven Armstrong, Group Director of AML at William Hill, and Roger Tyrzyk, Country Manager for IDnow.

Has anything really changed as a result of COVID-19? Armstrong said no, not really, the principles of KYC stay the same. But it’s more about the time management of someone on your site than their financial data. Someone might have been furloughed after 20 years on the job.

But one challenge the experts think might put a twist on things is the return of major sports. Das noted that KYC checks will need to be run again as sports leagues like the Bundisliga brings back more action. Armstrong agreed, but noted that even if the sports schedule comes back, operators are used to offering 24/7 action. Das concluded that it will be like mini Saturdays all in a row, and automation will be crucial to new player registration. Ultimately, it might be the best advice to keep your customer base sustainable, and flatten the curve, he joked.

There was some conversation regarding whether better artificial intelligence is helping operators stay more compliant with KYC regulations. Tyrzyk noted that you can’t trust technology to do AML and KYC for you 100%, so you still need the human element. Das agreed, noting that AI will be able to better digest financial information, but human is needed to make final calls.

Ultimately, Tyrzyk said that it’s hard to take new lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic at the moment, but we’ll certainly see what they are once life settles down again.

In the “Affordability & ID Checks – What Now for KYC?” panel, moderator Peter Murray, Head of Global Sales for W2, was joined by Thees Buschmann, Head of Compliance for Red Rhino, Paloma Gonzalez Mascaraque, Head of Payments and MLRO for Betconstruct, and Alex Kaganovich, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs for Genesis Group. This group continued to look at KYC regulations, and the rising concern of affordability.

All of the panelists agreed that KYC is a basic duty of each operator, not just because regulators demand it, but because it’s in their best interest to know who the customer is. And although regulators demand stricter KYC protocols, technology is helping to meet that challenge.

Unfortunately with affordability, things are much less clear. The panelists cited a lack of guidance, and too many questions about what upcoming regulations might be. Each operator is trying to do as much as they can to please their respective regulators, but they aren’t quite sure if they’re hitting the mark.

What really needs to happen is better cooperation between the regulators and their operators, and better access to tools. Operators want to keep players safe and play within their limits, but its hard to do that without knowing what the regulator expects to be affordable, and knowing each players limits, with information about their banking, as an example.

Clive Bourke, President EMEA and APAC of Daon, gave his own presentation, titled “Biometrics: Removing Friction and Enhancing Security.” He works with the Hong Kong Jockey Club on keeping their business safe and compliant with regulations.

The two takeaways he wanted to focus on were making digital security a part of each operations strategy, rather than an afterthought, and just how much they are going to improve and change in the near future.

By weaving biometrics like voice, facial recognition, finger print, and behavioral patterns throughout the organization, he notes that not only does onboarding become a more thorough collection of information, but every customer action, like self-service tools, customer contacts, and continuing authentication, can become better tooled towards the players purpose, while reducing costs for the operation and making both parties safer.

He also outlined how the tech is quickly improving. Deep neural networks are getting better trained to compare faces, even when pictures are taken in bad conditions. Elements like 3D face movement, color light reflection, and mask eye detection can help cut out potential fraudsters.

Even if you’ve missed out on the SBC Digital Summit so far, all of the talks and panels have been recorded to watch, so it’s not too late. Head over and register and see how the gambling industry will come out of this COVID-19 crisis.